Party hosts Republican gubernatorial candidate powwow

Representatives of five Republican candidates for governor met with state GOP Chairman Scott Golden and Executive Director Michael Sullivan on Oct. 11, reports The Tennessean.

The meeting at the party’s headquarters in Nashville included emissaries of U.S. Rep. Diane Black, House Speaker Beth Harwell, Knoxville entrepreneur Randy Boyd and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee.

Former state Sen. Mae Beavers did not send anyone because of a scheduling conflict, she said Monday. She also recently changed campaign staffers.

… Attendees included Lance Frizzell and Jordan Young from the Black campaign; Beth Fortune and Reid Witcher representing Harwell; Chris Devaney and Chris Walker from the Lee campaign; and Bonnie Brezina with the Boyd campaign.

The meeting — requested by the state Republican Party — was an effort to add some semblance of order to the competitive primary race as robust local party chapters continue to host their own events throughout the campaign.

“It was an effort to try to bring organization out of what is currently chaos,” one attendee said, who, along with some of the other attendees, agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity about private conversations at the meeting.

The chaos has been evident in the early stages of the campaign, with candidates occasionally given last-minute notice that straw polls will be conducted at local events. Even some of the straw polls have been somewhat haphazardly organized — one was done with gumballs; the results of another were counted by children at the event.

“No official rules or procedures were set in stone,” Sullivan said Monday while discussing the meeting.

Sullivan said the party is merely trying to be a helpful resource for the candidates.

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